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Contaminated Land for Councils

A one stop shop for councils’ contaminated land management

What is contaminated land?
"Contaminated land" refers to sites where substances are present at concentrations causing actual or potential risk of harm to human health or the environment.

Typically, contamination results from current and historical industrial and agricultural land uses. Contamination can also come from improper storage, handling and disposal of chemicals or biological substances, or use of contaminated fill on a site. The field of contaminated land also includes contamination in groundwater, surface water, dust, vapour, and hazardous ground gases, and their potential to migrate onto, and off, a site.

Councils’ roles
Councils have a major role in the management of contaminated land to protect their communities' health, and ensure healthy and appropriate development of their local government area. There are three key areas of responsibility for councils’ contaminated land management, as outlined below.

Two construction workers, viewed from above, standing on ground that has been bulldozed.
Regulators Through Land Use Planning

Contaminated land in NSW is primarily regulated through two avenues.

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Image of a community sports field.
Council-owned-and-managed lands

responsibilities for contaminated land as landowners and land managers.

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A petrol station with the sun going down in the background
Preventing future contamination - UPSS

Underground petroleum storage systems.

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Disclaimer: The information on these pages does not constitute legal advice. Legal advice should be sought in relation to specific circumstances and liability will not be accepted for losses incurred as a result of reliance on this information.

This website and associated guidance was developed through the EPA-funded Council Regional Capacity Building Program (CRCB program). The program ran in two iterations from 2014 to 2023 to support capacity building for the management of contaminated land in NSW by providing grants for CRCB Officers for regional councils.

Councils and regional organisations/joint organisations of councils involved with the development of this website and associated resources are: Bathurst Regional Council, Canberra Region Joint Organisation, Dubbo Regional Council, Far North West Joint Organisation, Hunter Joint Organisation, Namoi Joint Organisation of Councils, Ballina Shire Council, Riverina and Murray Joint Organisation, and Riverina Eastern Regional Organisation of Councils.

For development of these web pages and associated resources, special thanks goes to: LGNSW, Peter Brennan, Christine Pitman, Helen Eyre, Matthew Dudley, Noel Schiller, Victor Pepple, Lisa Schiff, John Cavanagh, Anna Lundmark, Anna Flack, Jacqui Vyner and Shonelle Gleeson-Willey.